The Changing Light
by Burleigh Mutén

I am still waiting behind the hotel
even though you are    hours    late,
the sky already purpled     just
barely winking     a steady breeze
chilling my cheek

First your shoe will swing around
                              the corner, your leg
and smile, you      and your hat
will slide into view       you’ll glance
at your wristwatch            tuck your head
look over your glasses and          time
will fire the concierge
                                        our gaze
whispered Ferlinghetti line
after another
                    a sea light
                                       an island light
the light of fog
                          the sea light of Greece
my pleated skirt, my suede heels, your
                                      tie         your ear
your heat

PHOTO: Hotel De Sebald 3 by Elina Brotherus (2019).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I fell in love with poetry and Ferlinghetti as a teenager almost 50 years ago. The italicized phrases in this homage to him are from his poem “The Changing Light.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Burleigh Mutén’s poetry has been published in several anthologies and online publication, including The CDC Poetry Project and Meat for Tea, a literary journal. She is the author of five children’s books, including Miss Emily, a verse novel about Emily Dickinson and the children she loved. Mutén enjoys the privilege of leading tours at the Emily Dickinson Museum.